FTC Hearings On Competition, Consumer Protection Begin This Week After CCIA, Stakeholder Input

BY Heather Greenfield
September 12, 2018

Washington — -The Federal Trade Commission begins a series of hearings Thursday on “Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.” CCIA welcomes the opportunity to be involved in substantive discussions on this topic. This first hearing will examine competition in the economy and the consumer welfare standard that has been the test for when regulators intervene in the market.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has advocated for policies that promote competition in the tech industry for more than 45 years. Ahead of the hearings, CCIA offered the FTC comments on the state of antitrust and consumer protection law and enforcement. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Antitrust is a very important component to preserve innovation and secure the welfare of our consumers. We believe the integrity of antitrust is very important and that it shouldn’t be able to be turned into a political tool to achieve improper ends. We look forward to the FTC hearings to focus on the facts and to help fine tune even more efficient mechanisms of enforcement. They should be useful for everyone involved.”

The following can be attributed to CCIA Director of Competition Marianela López-Galdos:

“The hearings are a great opportunity for dialogue and we think a look at the stats will show markets in the tech industry are highly competitive. The tech industry plays a large part in allowing the U.S. economy to thrive – benefits for consumers, citizens, and the U.S. It does this best when there is competition.

“Tech has disrupted stagnant legacy players in many industries and has triggered political pushback, but consumers benefit the most when markets are competitive. That is why it is important for regulators to keep a close eye on consumer welfare when considering where to prioritize their attention. We believe the consumer welfare standard is part of the reason the US digital economy has thrived and we support the U.S. antitrust authorities to protect and enforce regulation when consumers are harmed, but as always, based on evidence.”

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